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Hundreds of seniors line up to receive COVID-19 vaccines on first day of availability to seniors

Published: Dec. 31, 2020 at 11:27 AM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Leon County Health Department started administering COVID-19 vaccines to members of the community age 65 and up Thursday morning.

As of 11 a.m., the line of cars outside the Health Department stretches down Appleyard Drive, around the corner onto Jackson Bluff, past the sports complex and as far as Dupree Street.

A sign in front of the Leon County Health Department flashes “by appointment only.”

A spokesperson for the Health Department did not specify how many vaccines are available or how many appointments had been booked.

“Our residents should prepare for possible delays,” Public Information Officer Pam Saulsby said. “There is paperwork to complete and sign before residents receive their vaccine. The vaccine itself is administered in a matter of seconds.”

The Leon County Health Departments says everyone will be monitored for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine to make sure they do not have any adverse reactions including

shortness of breath, wheezing, dizziness, hives or swelling of the face.

It is not clear how many vaccines the Leon County Health Department expects to receive over the coming weeks or when its next vaccine clinic for seniors will be.

“The drive through vaccine clinic on December 31 is the first in our series of planned vaccine clinics,” Saulsby said. “They will be operated based on vaccine availability. We will continue to provide updates as new information comes in.”

A deluge of calls prompted phone outages over the past two days as seniors tried to make appointments. Many of them telling us they could not get through by phone.

Florida’s Governor this week urging seniors to be patient.

“The COVID-19 vaccine supply is still limited,” Governor Ron DeSantis said in a Wednesday press conference. “We do not have enough vaccine currently on hand for all four million plus senior citizens in the State of Florida. We will get there, but it’s not going to happen overnight.”

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